Resident of Newton Falls home died in Sunday fire

Staff report


The fire that killed Kelly Reese, 42, of Oak Knoll Avenue on Sunday evening started on the front porch and spread rapidly into the house through an open door and window, Newton Falls Fire District Chief Douglas Theobald said Monday.

Theobald said the fire is “under investigation, but it’s not suspicious.”

Theobald, who has been chief about three years, said the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office conducted interviews with witnesses and is in charge of determining the cause of the fire. A State Fire Marshal’s spokesman said late Monday the agency had no information to provide on the fire.

Theobald said there was a large volume of fire on the porch when firefighters arrived for the 5:19 p.m. call. They knocked down the fire so they could get to the stairs and into the second floor, where they rescued Reese from the floor in a bedroom and brought her to ambulance workers, who pronounced her dead.

The open window and door “vented” the fire and “drew it into the structure,” he said.

According to 911 calls, a female neighbor called 911 to report the fire and said, “There is somebody in the house. We need help right now.”

She added, “They can’t get her out,” then appeared to be telling a man to get away from the burning home.

A second female caller said of the fire, “Someone’s in there and they are dying.” She said there was someone outside the house, “and they’re hysterical.”

The Trumbull County Coroner’s Office, which provided the identification of the victim, said an autopsy will be conducted Wednesday.

Theobald said neighbors tried to control the fire with garden hoses.

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